Sunday, August 7, 2011

Daily Union Series on Public Libraries and the Elimination of Maintenance of Effort (Irwin L. Young Memorial Library, Whitewater)

Whitewater:  Library friends can help out. (Jefferson County Daily Union, 8/5/2011)

Excerpt: Facing a likely reduction in revenue, Lumsford said that the library will rely more than ever on the Friends of the Library and other community support to try to fill in some of the gaps.

"We have a very active Friends of the Library group," she said.

The Friends of the Library's biggest fundraiser is the library's popular book sale, but it also collects donations and does other fundraisers.

"They help us pay for the little extras, like some of the perks of the summer reading program," Lumsford said. "For example, we offer two field trips to participants in our summer reading program, and the buses for those field trips are paid for by the Friends of the Library."

"We rely heavily on the Friends, and it may be that we do so even more now," the librarian said.

Now that the state budget is set, and along with it cuts in state library supports and the elimination of the Maintenance of Effort statute, libraries face even higher budgetary stresses.

As economic times worsen, resources like the public library take on an even more important role.

In this climate, it's important for library users and supporters to communicate clearly with their elected representatives - on the state level and on the local level - about the priorities they want to see supported in the face of this budget crunch.

Related posts:
Johnson Creek Public Library.  (8/5/2011)
Dwight Foster Public Library, Fort Atkinson.  (8/4/2011)
Jefferson Public Library.  (8/3/2011)

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